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Australia will soon allow non-Australians into its army. People from countries such as the UK, Canada and New Zealand can apply to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Australia is having problems getting people to sign up for its army. The government hopes that opening the army up to people from other countries will solve its recruitment problem. The ADF currently has a shortage of around 4,400 workers. From July, New Zealanders who are permanent residents in Australia can apply to join. Next year, those from the UK, US and Canada will have their chance. Australia's Defence Minister, Richard Marles, said it was possible that in the future, people from more countries could join.

Mr Marles said his country was changing its recruitment policy for security reasons. He said: "The Australian Government has chosen to grow the Australian Defence Force because it is essential to meet the nation's security challenges through the next decade and beyond." A Defence Ministry spokesperson said: "We're being bold in order to grow the ADF. Recruiting from a wider pool of people will help ensure [the ADF] reflects the full diversity of Australia, and is able to draw on the talents of [all] of Australian society." Opposition Foreign Minister Simon Birmingham disagreed with the policy. He said it showed government failure. He said: "We should be seeing more Australians with the confidence to sign up."



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